Parish History

From the very beginning of Christianity, believers have desired to come together in a particular place to worship. Such a place is called a Parish Church. Every parish has a beginning and all members of a parish make an onward journey, striving to enter God’s Kingdom. During the course of this journey many highways and byways have to be crossed with great determination and goodwill. There are always bumps to be slided over and milestones to be crossed. These struggles, achievements, failures, etc. put together, become the unique history of a parish. Holy Family Parish, at Ramamurthy Nagar made history when it began its communion with God and its members. The parish family has made an onward journey for 47 years. It has grown spiritually, socially, culturally, and established God’s kingdom on this part of the earth.

The Indian Telephone Industries Ltd. (ITI), a public-sector undertaking was established in 1949 on the Old Madras Road, about 15 km from Bangalore City. It built a township with 1000 dwelling quarters for its employees. During the 1950’s many employees moved into the new township. There were some Catholics too among them. They needed a Church to cater to their spiritual needs. The nearest church was at Thambuchetty Palya, which was 4km away and could be reached only on foot. In these circumstances, the Catholics keenly felt the need to have a place in the township itself for mass on Sundays. The I.T.I. management responded favourably to a petition submitted by the Catholics and permitted Sunday services in either the cricket pavilion or the sports club of the company. The successive Parish Priests of Thambuchetty Palya namely Rev. Fr. Gratian, Mgr. B. Colaco, Rev. Fr. Lawrence Noronha, Rev. Fr. S. Veigas and Rev. Fr. J.B. Fernandez came to the colony to celebrate mass. This system continued till 1975.

The Salesian priests and brothers of Kristu Jyothi College under Rev. Fr. Di Fiore extended their help to the Catholics in meeting their spiritual needs. Consistent with their vocation of the Salesians of Don Bosco. They concentrated their activities on the youth. They taught catechism to the children and involved themselves in social activities, sports etc. By this the Salesians earned themselves a couple of vocations to the priesthood and religious life.

With the expansion of them, there was a remarkable rise in the catholic population in and around the ITI Township. As a result, the place of worship designated by the authorities was found inadequate. A permanent place of worship was found absolutely necessary. The enthusiastic Catholics made an earnest appeal to the government for a piece of land in the Colony for a Church. The government refused to yield to such a request. So, they approached Archbishop Thomas Pothacamury of Bangalore to build them a church near the township. The Parish Priest of Thambuchetty Palya also strongly recommended the petition. The Archbishop suggested that they could buy the land and the diocese would build a church for them. The Catholics of the area seriously took this challenge. The leaders organized the collection of funds. They went door to door asking for donations, conducted Christmas carols, put up stalls on the annual feast day of St. Antony at T.C Palya etc. When a substantial amount was collected, a piece of land was purchased in 1968 at Ramamurthy Nagar where the church now is.

Archbishop Lourduswamy, the successor of Archbishop Pothacamury gave the green signal to proceed with the construction of the church. When he was appointed for Propaganda Fide in Rome, Archbishop Packiam Arokiaswamy succeeded him. Rev. Fr. J. B Fernandez, the then Parish Priest of St. Antony’s Parish asked every earning catholic to contribute a day’s wage monthly. Leadership and initiative also came from the Catholic Association of ITI who organized raffles, collected donations, etc. All the Catholics of Doorvani Nagar were happy about the idea of building the Church. Many contributed to the fund irrespective of their religion. The collections were insufficient but trusting in Providence Rev. Fr. J. B. Fernandez started the construction of the Church. St. Anthony’s parish gave generously and a moderate structure was completed in 1975. There was no proper flooring. The furnishings were incomplete.

Archbishop Packiam Arokiaswamy blessed and opened Holy Family Church on 9th September 1975. It was a day of celebration and joy for all the parishioners. Children received First Holy Communion and Confirmation on that day.